~ Friday, April 18 ~
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Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain
The universe may grow like a giant brain, according to a new computer simulation.
Image: A fundamental law of nature may govern the growth of brain networks, social networks, and the expansion of the Universe, a new computer simulation suggests Credit: WGBH Educational Foundation
The results, published Nov.16 in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, suggest that some undiscovered, fundamental laws may govern the growth of systems large and small, from the electrical firing between brain cells and growth of social networks to the expansion of galaxies.
"Natural growth dynamics are the same for different real networks, like the Internet or the brain or social networks," said study co-author Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California San Diego.
The new study suggests a single fundamental law of nature may govern these networks, said physicist Kevin Bassler of the University of Houston, who was not involved in the study.
"At first blush they seem to be quite different systems, the question is, is there some kind of controlling laws can describe them?".
By raising this question, “their work really makes a pretty important contribution,” he said.
Similar Networks
Past studies showed brain circuits and the Internet look a lot alike. But despite finding this functional similarity, nobody had developed equations to perfectly predict how computer networks, brain circuits or social networks grow over time, Krioukov said.
Using Einstein’s equations of relativity, which explain how matter warps the fabric of space-time, physicists can retrace the universe’s explosive birth in the Big Bang roughly 14 billion years ago and how it has expanded outward in the eons since.
So Krioukov’s team wondered whether the universe’s accelerating growth could provide insight into the ways social networks or brain circuits expand.
Brain cells and galaxies
The team created a computer simulation that broke the early universe into the tiniest possible units — quanta of space-time more miniscule than subatomic particles. The simulation linked any quanta, or nodes in a massive celestial network, that were causally related. (Nothing travels faster than light, so if a person hits a baseball on Earth, the ripple effects of that event could never reach an alien in a distant galaxy in a reasonable amount of time, meaning those two regions of space-time aren’t causally related.)
As the simulation progressed, it added more and more space-time to the history of the universe, and so its “network” connections between matter in galaxies, grew as well, Krioukov said.
When the team compared the universe’s history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections. For instance, a cat lover surfing the Internet may visit mega-sites such as Google or Yahoo, but will also browse cat fancier websites or YouTube kitten videos. In the same way, neighboring brain cells like to connect, but neurons also link to such “Google brain cells” that are hooked up to loads of other brain cells.
The eerie similarity between networks large and small is unlikely to be a coincidence, Krioukov said.
"For a physicist it’s an immediate signal that there is some missing understanding of how nature works," Krioukov said.
It’s more likely that some unknown law governs the way networks grow and change, from the smallest brain cells to the growth of mega-galaxies, Krioukov said.
"This result suggests that maybe we should start looking for it," Krioukov told LiveScience.

Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain

The universe may grow like a giant brain, according to a new computer simulation.

Image: A fundamental law of nature may govern the growth of brain networks, social networks, and the expansion of the Universe, a new computer simulation suggests Credit: WGBH Educational Foundation

The results, published Nov.16 in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, suggest that some undiscovered, fundamental laws may govern the growth of systems large and small, from the electrical firing between brain cells and growth of social networks to the expansion of galaxies.

"Natural growth dynamics are the same for different real networks, like the Internet or the brain or social networks," said study co-author Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California San Diego.

The new study suggests a single fundamental law of nature may govern these networks, said physicist Kevin Bassler of the University of Houston, who was not involved in the study.

"At first blush they seem to be quite different systems, the question is, is there some kind of controlling laws can describe them?".

By raising this question, “their work really makes a pretty important contribution,” he said.

Similar Networks

Past studies showed brain circuits and the Internet look a lot alike. But despite finding this functional similarity, nobody had developed equations to perfectly predict how computer networks, brain circuits or social networks grow over time, Krioukov said.

Using Einstein’s equations of relativity, which explain how matter warps the fabric of space-time, physicists can retrace the universe’s explosive birth in the Big Bang roughly 14 billion years ago and how it has expanded outward in the eons since.

So Krioukov’s team wondered whether the universe’s accelerating growth could provide insight into the ways social networks or brain circuits expand.

Brain cells and galaxies

The team created a computer simulation that broke the early universe into the tiniest possible units — quanta of space-time more miniscule than subatomic particles. The simulation linked any quanta, or nodes in a massive celestial network, that were causally related. (Nothing travels faster than light, so if a person hits a baseball on Earth, the ripple effects of that event could never reach an alien in a distant galaxy in a reasonable amount of time, meaning those two regions of space-time aren’t causally related.)

As the simulation progressed, it added more and more space-time to the history of the universe, and so its “network” connections between matter in galaxies, grew as well, Krioukov said.

When the team compared the universe’s history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections. For instance, a cat lover surfing the Internet may visit mega-sites such as Google or Yahoo, but will also browse cat fancier websites or YouTube kitten videos. In the same way, neighboring brain cells like to connect, but neurons also link to such “Google brain cells” that are hooked up to loads of other brain cells.

The eerie similarity between networks large and small is unlikely to be a coincidence, Krioukov said.

"For a physicist it’s an immediate signal that there is some missing understanding of how nature works," Krioukov said.

It’s more likely that some unknown law governs the way networks grow and change, from the smallest brain cells to the growth of mega-galaxies, Krioukov said.

"This result suggests that maybe we should start looking for it," Krioukov told LiveScience.

(Source: kenobi-wan-obi)


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~ Saturday, March 8 ~
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disown-rbs:

The DISown rock climbing wall.  Retail installation by Lizzie Fitch.  

disown-rbs:

The DISown rock climbing wall.  Retail installation by Lizzie Fitch.  


3 notes
reblogged via disown-rbs
~ Friday, February 28 ~
Permalink

prostheticknowledge:

Blackphone

Independent mobile phone in development with a high emphasis on privacy. It utilizes a custom Android OS (called PrivatOS) which can encrypt all messaging, and is designed to be as good as anything currently on the market - video embedded below:

Blackphone is the world’s first smartphone to put privacy and control ahead of everything else. Ahead of carriers. Ahead of advertising. Blackphone is re-shaping the landscape of personal communications …

Blackphone is unlocked and works with any GSM carrier. Performance benchmarks put it among the top performers from any manufacturer.

It has the features necessary to do all the things you need, as well as all the things you want, while maintaining your privacy and security and giving you the freedom to choose your carrier, your apps, and your location.

The tools installed on Blackphone give you everything you need to take ownership of your mobile presence and digital footprints, and ensure nobody else can watch you without your knowledge.

You can find out more at the project’s website here


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~ Wednesday, February 26 ~
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78,579 notes
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~ Tuesday, February 18 ~
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medievalpoc:

Its Time to Talk About Black Tudors
by Rowena Mondiwa
A criminally neglected part of British history is the true scope of the African diaspora in Britain that reaches as far back as Renaissance Europe. A new book by Onyeka Nubia seeks to rectify the problem, examining the lives of the thousands of blacks that lived in the UK in Tudor times. In Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Onyeka Nubia shares research conducted in uncovering early evidence of Black existence in the United Kingdom, and proves that black presence was evident a lot earlier than is usually assumed. Nubia’s research focuses on the Tudor era (1485- 1603), specifically looking at the four English cities of London, Plymouth, Bristol and Barnstable.
This is not the first book published about African presence in England. Black Lives in the English Archives by Imtiaz Habib (2008) and Gustav Ungerer’s The Mediterranean Apprenticeship of British Slavery (2010) are two other books that look at similar subject matter and help substantiate the information uncovered in this research project. Additionally, just this year, academic Miranda Kaufman has published essays on the same research.
Using extensive data from letters and parish records, Nubia pieces together some of the unknowns, and paints a bigger picture of Black presence in Tudor England. These historical documents, one even signed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1596, clearly confirm the black presence in the country. Emma McFarnon in The Missing Tudors: black people in 16th-century England questions why history doesn’t acknowledge black Africans being part of that society. As she says, the numbers were quite large too, at least large enough for Queen Elizabeth I to have taken note in two letters signed by the monarch in 1596.
Who were the Africans? McFarnon says that from as early as 1558, parish records mentioned Africans using a diversity of terms such as “Blackamoores,” “blacks,” “moors,” “negroes,” “negars” and “Ethiopians” to describe people of African heritage. Africans were buried in England in the 16th Century, Africans such as Anthony John who died on March 18, 1587. Africans were also found in the royal court, men such as John Blanke, the black trumpeter who attended court from 1506-1512. Evidently, Africans where an important part of the social fabric.
Nubia courageously confronts the assumptions made by a few of the prominent authors of Black history in England that Africans were brought to England as slaves. Indeed, the author found firstly that the term slave when used was a “temporary or transitory” term; additionally, there is evidence of Africans marrying English people and having children. 
‘A report in 1578 declared ‘I myself have seene an Ethiopian as black as cole…taking a faire English woman as wife [they] begat a sonne in all respects as blacke as the father.’ James Albert Gronniosaw (an African prince, enslaved at 15, who served in the British army and later wrote his memoirs) married an English weaver and settled in Colchester.‘ nationalarchives.gov.uk
One of the examples of Africans found in important jobs at the time is a man named Fortunatus, who was in the employ of Robert Cecil, a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s Privy Council, proving that blacks in Tudor times were not always confined to the lower classes. Black representation in 16th and 17th Century art and literature was not unusual. Juriaen Van Streeck (1632-1687)’s painting “A Still Life with a Moorish Servant” depicts a Black man. Jan Brueghel, a prominent Flemish artist also has paintings of Black subjects.
With well-cited facts, records and other documents, credibility is lent to an under-researched and generally unpopular area. Onyeka Nubia acknowledges the challenges of working on such a neglected topic and stresses the history of the African diaspora be “taken more seriously.” Nubia carefully details the problems faced when researching the historical data of blacks — it begs the question, why are modern historians so uncomfortable with discussing the historical Black presence in Renaissance Europe? This is an area of history that hegemonic historians ignore.
It is timely that I read Nubia’s book during Black History Month here in North America. In television shows, films and books by popular historians, the presence of black Tudors is not acknowledged. As McFarnon says, the problem with not acknowledging them is
“it influences how we develop public policies on a range of important matters and it affects how we educate children in schools.” Historian Marika Sherwood goes further and states that black people often say “in this curriculum I don’t exist.”
Blackamoores shows usparish records, letters and artwork as primary sources, detailing how Black people have been a part of European society since at least the fifteenth century. It is obviously important for the African diaspora to know their roots and see evidence of themselves in history, a history that has often been whitewashed in popular culture and history books until recently. As Onyeka Nubia writes, 
“this tension exists and to some extent is inevitable until Black history and in particular the study of Africans in the Diaspora is taken more seriously.” 
It’s time for academia to take the African diaspora seriously.
Find more information at narrative-eye.org.uk and sign their Petition to Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to Reflect True English History by Including Black Tudors in the National Curriculum
Rowena Mondiwa was raised in the UK and Africa and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is currently a first-year graduate student of International and Intercultural Communication. Rowena is interested in education, the arts, literature and cultural and diversity issues. She blogs at Les Reveries De Rowena and can be found on twitter  @RowenaMonde

medievalpoc:

Its Time to Talk About Black Tudors

by Rowena Mondiwa

A criminally neglected part of British history is the true scope of the African diaspora in Britain that reaches as far back as Renaissance Europe. A new book by Onyeka Nubia seeks to rectify the problem, examining the lives of the thousands of blacks that lived in the UK in Tudor times. In Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Onyeka Nubia shares research conducted in uncovering early evidence of Black existence in the United Kingdom, and proves that black presence was evident a lot earlier than is usually assumed. Nubia’s research focuses on the Tudor era (1485- 1603), specifically looking at the four English cities of London, Plymouth, Bristol and Barnstable.

This is not the first book published about African presence in England. Black Lives in the English Archives by Imtiaz Habib (2008) and Gustav Ungerer’s The Mediterranean Apprenticeship of British Slavery (2010) are two other books that look at similar subject matter and help substantiate the information uncovered in this research project. Additionally, just this year, academic Miranda Kaufman has published essays on the same research.

Using extensive data from letters and parish records, Nubia pieces together some of the unknowns, and paints a bigger picture of Black presence in Tudor England. These historical documents, one even signed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1596, clearly confirm the black presence in the country. Emma McFarnon in The Missing Tudors: black people in 16th-century England questions why history doesn’t acknowledge black Africans being part of that society. As she says, the numbers were quite large too, at least large enough for Queen Elizabeth I to have taken note in two letters signed by the monarch in 1596.

Who were the Africans? McFarnon says that from as early as 1558, parish records mentioned Africans using a diversity of terms such as “Blackamoores,” “blacks,” “moors,” “negroes,” “negars” and “Ethiopians” to describe people of African heritage. Africans were buried in England in the 16th Century, Africans such as Anthony John who died on March 18, 1587. Africans were also found in the royal court, men such as John Blanke, the black trumpeter who attended court from 1506-1512. Evidently, Africans where an important part of the social fabric.

Nubia courageously confronts the assumptions made by a few of the prominent authors of Black history in England that Africans were brought to England as slaves. Indeed, the author found firstly that the term slave when used was a “temporary or transitory” term; additionally, there is evidence of Africans marrying English people and having children.

‘A report in 1578 declared ‘I myself have seene an Ethiopian as black as cole…taking a faire English woman as wife [they] begat a sonne in all respects as blacke as the father.’ James Albert Gronniosaw (an African prince, enslaved at 15, who served in the British army and later wrote his memoirs) married an English weaver and settled in Colchester.nationalarchives.gov.uk

One of the examples of Africans found in important jobs at the time is a man named Fortunatus, who was in the employ of Robert Cecil, a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s Privy Council, proving that blacks in Tudor times were not always confined to the lower classes. Black representation in 16th and 17th Century art and literature was not unusual. Juriaen Van Streeck (1632-1687)’s painting “A Still Life with a Moorish Servant” depicts a Black man. Jan Brueghel, a prominent Flemish artist also has paintings of Black subjects.

With well-cited facts, records and other documents, credibility is lent to an under-researched and generally unpopular area. Onyeka Nubia acknowledges the challenges of working on such a neglected topic and stresses the history of the African diaspora be “taken more seriously.” Nubia carefully details the problems faced when researching the historical data of blacks — it begs the question, why are modern historians so uncomfortable with discussing the historical Black presence in Renaissance Europe? This is an area of history that hegemonic historians ignore.

It is timely that I read Nubia’s book during Black History Month here in North America. In television shows, films and books by popular historians, the presence of black Tudors is not acknowledged. As McFarnon says, the problem with not acknowledging them is

“it influences how we develop public policies on a range of important matters and it affects how we educate children in schools.” Historian Marika Sherwood goes further and states that black people often say “in this curriculum I don’t exist.”

Blackamoores shows usparish records, letters and artwork as primary sources, detailing how Black people have been a part of European society since at least the fifteenth century. It is obviously important for the African diaspora to know their roots and see evidence of themselves in history, a history that has often been whitewashed in popular culture and history books until recently. As Onyeka Nubia writes,

“this tension exists and to some extent is inevitable until Black history and in particular the study of Africans in the Diaspora is taken more seriously.”

It’s time for academia to take the African diaspora seriously.

Find more information at narrative-eye.org.uk and sign their Petition to Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to Reflect True English History by Including Black Tudors in the National Curriculum

Rowena Mondiwa was raised in the UK and Africa and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is currently a first-year graduate student of International and Intercultural Communication. Rowena is interested in education, the arts, literature and cultural and diversity issues. She blogs at Les Reveries De Rowena and can be found on twitter  @RowenaMonde


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reblogged via androphilia
~ Monday, January 20 ~
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For private business prison labor is like a pot of gold. No strikes. No union organizing. No health benefits, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation to pay. No language barriers, as in foreign countries. New leviathan prisons are being built on thousands of eerie acres of factories inside the walls. Prisoners do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, and make circuit boards, limosines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, all at a fraction of the cost of ‘free labor’.
— Linda Evans and Eve Goldberg, “The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy” (via commiekinkshamer)

4,346 notes
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~ Sunday, January 19 ~
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69 notes
reblogged via sugaronastick
~ Monday, January 13 ~
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~ Monday, January 6 ~
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320gr:

The Golden Ratio is Everywhere.

(Source: iahan)


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~ Monday, December 23 ~
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